Summary: This sermon explains God’s perfecting process for all Christians.
God’s Perfect Work
John T. Edmerson, Minister
Church of Christ Kennedy Heights
A. “Work” has different meanings to different people. To some
“work” is seen as a highly esteemed virtue or an admirable
trait. To others “work” represents something foreign an
undesired. Have you ever met anyone who did not want to
B. In our text this morning, James shares God’s process of
“working” as well as the “perfect work” that God’s process
C. Go to the text, read verses 1-4.
II. Lesson Points
A. The witness of God’s work. (verse 1)
1. If we notice the word scattered in verse one we see that
James was writing this epistle to Christians who had
spread throughout the world. At this time there were
Jewish settlements all over the world in various
countries. A community of Jews would acquire land,
build synagogues, worship regularly, convert others to
the Jewish faith (proselytes) and keep ties with traditional Jerusalem Judaism by sending in yearly taxes.
2. James point is this..when he sought to share his epistle,
he intended it to speak to Christians who were living in
environments where their faith was on display-thereby
encouraging or discouraging the potential faith of their
3. The application speaks to our ability to witness to others
through the experiences of life. James shows us that
though our intermingling with different cultures
and communities, we must develop a faith that speaks
well of the God we serve. See Matthew 5:14-16.
B. The way God works. (verse 2-3)
1. One of the first things we see about God in the Bible is
his work ethic. Reflect on Genesis 1-2 where God
created the world as we know it in six days, then ceased
or rested from on the seventh. In James one we also see
God at work, but His method here is different.
2. James begins speaking to our attitudes. “Count it all joy”
is in reference to our attitude. Attitudes are always
based on our response to a given situation. James is
sharing with us that when we are thrust in the middle of a dilemma he wants us to be ever mindful of how we
respond. How we respond makes all the difference.
3. See the story of “The oyster” that is found in the
bulletin. The point of the story is to illustrate our
response to what happens to us in life. James says that
we must have a joyful disposition!
4. Secondly, James informs us that we must “know” that
when we experience various (different kinds) trials they
must be viewed as God’s process of working to bring
about “endurance or patience” in our lives. Both words
communicate the idea of staying under a heavy load with
the intent of growing stronger because of the
experience. Ignorance is costly.
5. James point is that don’t think that what we
unexpectedly encounter in life is meant to destroy or
demean us. No, James says that they are meant to do
just the opposite - build us up and strengthen us. This is
God’s way of working in us to bring about perfection or
completeness. You see God has so arranged the process
that the only way that we can be all we can be is to fully
accept His way of perfecting us. In other words, the only
way out of a trial is through it.
C. The wonder of God’s work. (verse 4)
1. James closes our thought this morning sharing a deep
profoundness in our partnership with God in bringing
about a sense of wholeness or spiritual totality. The
word he uses translated as “complete” is taken from our
English word holograph; a 360 degree-complete circle. It
is wholeness or full development that is a bi-product of
God’s system of working.
2. James uses two words that express the wonder evident
in the product of God’s work. Patience or endurance
must be allowed to have its way in our lives. Don’t fight
it! Accept God’ way of working to grow us up. James
illustrates the process by using the adjective “perfect”
that describes the “kind of work process.” Then he turns
around and shares that perfect work will bring about a
“perfect you and me.” “Perfect” there-being a noun.
III. Summation and Invitation
A. James thought this morning is that we have a divine partner to
bring about a greater “us.” The process is perfect. The idea is
also that of being unblemished or untainted. In the Bible when
they offered sacrifices to God the offerings (animals) needed to
be untainted or unblemished. The thought is that God’s process
is just that untainted/unblemished. It can not be improved-
leave it alone, stop trying to modify what God has already
B. Thomasville furniture story-shows good workmanship!